Google to Sell e-Books, Move into E-Commerce

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Move Over, Amazon? Google Aims to Sell e-Books - BusinessWeek: "The plan to sell e-books is the latest indication of Google's attempt to expand beyond online advertising and gain a toehold in e-commerce, where (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), and (WMT) hold sway. 'Google's core growth rate is slowing, and it's starting to look for the next big growth driver,' says Laura Martin, an analyst at Soleil Securities Group. In February, Google's YouTube said it is testing ways to let people sell video through the Google Checkout online payment system. Google is also testing Google Product Search, which lets consumers locate the cheapest products at various online stores. Google also runs Android Market, a store that sells mobile-phone applications."

This is a troubling development because Google has an essential monopoly on search and can use their search supremacy to drive customers to their own e-commerce and content sites. They can lock out everybody else.

The FTC needs to regulate the activities of online search providers. Not just Google, but other ones as well, and make sure that their businesses remain limited to search so that they do not infringe on competition in the online space.

Google is great, but it would be terrible if it becomes the monopolist of the 21st century.

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